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Cramer: Let's Have a Real Debate

This post appeared earlier this week on RealMoney. Click here for a free trial, and enjoy incisive commentary all day, every day.

Suddenly, bloggers, opinion people, columnists and, yes, pundits who haven't paid attention to anything I have been saying or writing for the past 18 months are all over me. Suddenly, I find myself in the center of a firestorm over Obama's economic policies, taking enfilading fire from the "liberal" media (from serious columnist Frank Rich to entertainer Jon Stewart) while being defended by Rush Limbaugh, the standard-bearer for the Republicans.



I'm uncomfortable being in the cross hairs of columnists and comedians I enjoy, and I find the embrace of Rush Limbaugh most certainly strange if not antithetical to many of my viewpoints.

So, why after toiling in the cable wilderness for four years with "Mad Money" am I the target of the wrath of the Obama clan, and the darling, albeit surely momentary, of the Obama-critics? After all, my criticism of Obama's handling of the economic crisis is a lot less pointed than my withering August 2007 "They Know Nothing" meltdown against the previous regime's handling of the economic crisis. Then, I advocated a swift slashing of interest rates by the Federal Reserve and a concomitant policy for potential widespread banking failures that were sure to come because of the Republican administration's pernicious laissez-faire attitude toward Wall Street.

The answer lies in the way the two administrations handled criticism.

The Bush administration, I believed, simply chose to ignore my warnings, perhaps because of a brutal combination of ideology, fecklessness and complacency. Publicly, it was easy to ignore a carping Democrat, even as most of my insight came from apolitical people who ran many of the major trading desks and were simply worried about the sure-to-come tsunami spawned by subprime mortgages. The Bush administration's endless "fundamentals are sound" observations seemed ridiculous in the face of what most chief executive officers from Main Street companies and all executives of the top investment banks knew to be the case. Ben Bernanke didn't seem to understand the urgency, perhaps because of his academic background. Tim Geithner, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the most important regulator of Wall Street, didn't seem to get the importance of a consistent policy in the face of frightened and confused participants in the capital markets. Hank Paulson confused me the most. He ran Goldman Sachs (GS), for heaven's sake. He had to know better, but he didn't.

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